Aquasition – Dev Diary Part 7 – Adaptive Soundtrack

I have been thinking about how I was going to develop the soundtrack for Aquasition for a while now. I have had ideas for the way it would sound musically and as far as instrumentation and such, but I have not been sure exactly how I was going to approach making it dynamic and respond to the player’s actions in game. The soundtrack would need to keep time as it changed to different audio clips and it would need to introduce these clips in response to changes in the game world’s current state and sometimes in time with player actions. I had merely assumed I was going to have to program a system in Unity for managing all this. This was until I stumbled across a program called FMOD Studio.

FMOD is a program for adaptive audio in games that provides a free option for indies and beginners and comes with built in integration for Unity. After importing the program’s package into my Unity project folder for the game, I can now use the FMOD program to implement adaptive audio in Aquasition. However, I have still needed to learn and get to grips with working in a new program. I have also needed to learn how to use it in Unity both via scripting and its built in functions.


What FMOD allows me to do though was worth the learning curve. It gives you incredible flexibility as to how and when audio clips play, how they interact with each other. Dividing a simple music track into layers before importing these clips into FMOD means I can use FMOD to layout the track in such a way that allows unity to dictate what sounds are playing and when as well as many other adjustments. Everything about the track can be adjusted while the game is running through scripting or functions in Unity that tie to triggers and collisions etc. Randomisation and modulation can even be used for things like sound effects ensuring the same sound does not get tiresome if it plays often in game.

So, I have been trying out a lot of different sounds to see what feels right for my game. Here is one of my first few attempts to get an ambient guitar sound for the game.

I later tried something with a different more synthetic swelling sound comprised of reversed, extended chords on guitar and keys.

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